Healthy employees are happier, more productive employees. While you do not want to be the food police at your company, you want your employees to eat as healthy as possible. By providing them with easily accessible, and even free, healthy foods, you can go a long way toward changing unhealthy habits in the workforce that cost you time and money.
Set the Tone Up Front
You can’t dictate what people can or can’t eat, but make it clear to all employees that the culture of your workplace is health conscious. Posters and signage in prominent places to encourage healthy eating will go a long way toward changing behavior without being heavy handed. It’s important that your employees feel cared for and encouraged, not pressured.
Related Article: 5 Enjoyable Ways to Promote Healthy Living in the Office
Provide Healthy Vending Machine Options
Vending machine companies today recognize the need for healthy fare in their machines. It won’t be hard to find companies that provide a variety of healthy options such as salads, fresh fruit and juices alongside or in place of conventional vending foods. Since you make the decision of what goes into the machines, you could choose to have sandwiches made with only low-fat meats such as turkey and chicken instead of ham and sausage, or protein bars, dried and fresh fruit, and veggie chips instead of less healthy choices.
Make Free Healthy Snacks Highly Visible
Many companies have a break room with free snacks, but why not put the free snacks in plain sight all over the building? If there is a bowl of fruit and protein bars on a table and a ready supply of fruit juices and water in each department, not only will employees choose those snacks over candy and chips, but they will likely spend less time running back and forth to the snack bar or vending machines.
Healthy Cafeteria Options
If you provide a cafeteria where employees pay for their food, you can’t very well ignore the options they want, but you can make healthier choices more appealing by subsidizing the cost so that healthy dishes are priced lower than less-healthy meals. However, if your cafeteria is free, you can certainly control what is served there. Most employees will opt for the free food instead of going out or bringing their own food from home. Once they get used to eating healthier fare, they may carry that over to their personal lives as well.
Remove Soda and Candy Machines
Don’t become the villain by not allowing candy, chips or sodas in the office, but make it clear that while healthy snacks and beverages are free or sold at a reduced cost, they will have to bring other things from home at their own expense. Simply remove all the vending machines that contain unhealthy options and replace them with free, healthy options.
Start a Wellness Program
A wellness program can include much more than just healthy eating. As Sarah Kessler suggests in Inc., you can set up exercise clubs and host weight-loss meetings. Set monthly challenges, with the winner’s picture being displayed prominently around the building. Only provide healthy foods for parties and meetings, such as veggie pizzas and sparkling juices instead of junk food.
Cost Benefits of Providing Free, Healthy Food to Employees
The biggest benefit to having healthier employees is increased productivity. Other monetary benefits are less time lost work time from sick days and lower health care costs.
Providing healthier choices for your employees has myriad benefits for both workers and the company. Make it clear that your company supports healthy eating and back it up with actions. Provide your employees with what they need to eat healthier while not making yourself the food police, and your employees will feel cared for and appreciative.
Author: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. If your company is investigating vending routes in Ontario, CA, Anica suggests you check out the healthy food options of Proserve Vending.